Israeli Defense Chief Says Iran Postponed Nuclear Ambitions
Rick Gladstone, New York Times – October 30, 2012
Israel’s defense minister said Tuesday that the country had interpreted Iran’s conversion of some enriched uranium to fuel rods for civilian use as evidence that Iran had delayed ambitions to build a nuclear weapon.
US, EU Hopeful of New Iran Nuke Talks
USA Today – October 30, 2012
The U.S. and the European Union said Tuesday they’ll press on with sanctions against Iran, even as they hope the promise of new negotiations could lead to a diplomatic solution ending the nuclear standoff. Appearing together at a news conference in the Bosnian capital, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said both diplomacy and pressure would continue until Iran makes significant concessions over its disputed uranium enrichment activity.
Missing Debate Over Red Lines for Iran
Joel Rubin, Huffington Post – October 29, 2012
Last Monday’s foreign policy debate was supposed to provide a contrast between two competing visions about America’s role in the world, the path forward in the Middle East, and the 21st century threats over the horizon. At the core of the debate was the question of American policy towards Iran — a country mentioned 40 times by both candidates — with an entire segment devoted to discussing “Red Lines — Israel and Iran.”
UN Chief Open to Visiting North Korea
VOA – October 30, 2012
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he would consider a trip to North Korea as part of his efforts toward peace on the Korean peninsula. Mr. Ban, a South Korean, made his comments Tuesday at South Korea’s National Assembly where he received the 2012 Seoul Peace Prize. He was the first U.N. chief to address the body.
Inflation-Hit N. Korea May Soon Ban Use of Foreign Currencies: Expert
Yonhap News – October 31, 2012
Stricken with ever-increasing inflation, North Korea may soon move to ban the use of foreign currencies, a South Korean expert said Wednesday. “A rumor of a foreign currency ban is being circulated” among sources well versed in North Korean matters, Cho Bong-hyun, an analyst at the Seoul-based IBK Economic Research Institute, said in a seminar in Seoul.
North Korea Bites the Hand that Feeds It
Jonathan Berkshire Miller, Asia Sentinel – October 31, 2012
What is US$40 million to the world’s second largest economy? The number, while not insignificant, is merely a sliver of the nearly US$6 billion in annual bilateral trade between China and its mercurial neighbor, North Korea. Yet the recent news that Beijing and Pyongyang are at loggerheads over a quashed deal to build a Chinese-backed mine across the border has been the latest setback in a series of disagreements between the two.
Why Russia Won’t Budge on Iran
Cory Bender, US News – October 30, 2012
Russia is no friend of Iran. Since Vladimir Putin’s first term as president, the once-amicable relations between Moscow and Tehran have degraded sharply. Russia and Iran, previously united by their shared Eurasian identity, are now mired in a marriage of unembellished convenience. Iran, the Russians might tell you, is too refractory, too missionary, too fundamentalist in an age when militant Islam threatens to shatter Russia’s territorial integrity. More importantly, as Iran has divorced itself from mainstream international politics, it has become a liability for Moscow.
Tom Z. Collina, Foreign Policy – October 26, 2012
Washington calls them “regional” missile defenses, but Russian and China see a strategic threat brewing. To counter missile programs in Iran and North Korea, the United States is expanding missile defense capabilities in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. So far, the United States has fielded short- and mid-range defensive systems against similarly limited threats. But in expectation of Iranian and North Korean missiles that can reach the United States, Washington is planning to deploy mobile, sea-based interceptors that can take out long-range missiles.
Syrian Air Force on Offensive After Failed Truce
Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Reuters – October 30, 2012
Syrian warplanes bombed rebel targets with renewed intensity on Tuesday after the end of a widely ignored four-day truce between President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and insurgents. State television said “terrorists” had assassinated an air force general, Abdullah Mahmoud al-Khalidi, in a Damascus suburb, the latest of several rebel attacks on senior officials.